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2 women nabbed for tampered RT-PCR results positive for COVID

BY GILBERT P. BAYORAN

Two Negrense women are now being held in an isolation facility after being arrested for presenting tampered negative RT-PCR results, upon arrival from Manila on board a passenger ship on January 20 at the BREDCO Port in Bacolod City.

Provincial Incident Management Team head Zeaphard Gerhart Caelian yesterday said that the discovery of tampered negative RT-PCR results was made after it was scanned.

Caelian said that he already referred the case to the Provincial Legal Office for the filing of appropriate charges against the two women, who tested positive for COVID-19.

He also reported that several Negrense students in Iloilo who tested positive for COVID-19 were delivered by the Iloilo local government unit to the provincial government of Negros Occidental for quarantine purposes.

They are now being quarantined at the EB Magalona healing facility, Caelian said.

Iloilo City and Iloilo province are under Alert Level 3 status.

Inbound travelers from Alert Level 3 areas, including Manila, are required to secure negative RT-PCR test results, 72 hours prior to their arrival, before approval of their S-PaSS.

If the validity of negative RT-PCR test has lapsed after 72 hours, Caelian said that travelers may avail of free RT-PCR testing upon arrival at the Bacolod-Silay Airport, and may be released from a quarantine facility after being tested negative of the virus.

Earlier this week, three persons were arrested in Bacolod City for the printing and selling of fake vaccination cards and certificates.

The Department of Interior and Local Government warned that that fakers of RT-PCT tests, once caught, will be punished to the fullest extent of the law. Republic Act (RA) No. 11332 or the Mandatory Reporting of Notifiable Diseases and Health Events of Public Health Concern Act provides for penalties of P20,000 but not more than P50,000 or imprisonment of not less than one month but not more than six months, or both fine and imprisonment, at the discretion of the court.

Section 1-b under the Prohibited Acts of RA 11332 stipulates that “tampering of records relating to notifiable diseases or health events of public health concern, which includes official medical test results or medical certificates, or such other documents and records issued by public health authorities,” is punishable by law.*

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